Title: Alliance formation: the impact of teams and individuals in initial negotiations

Authors: Randi Lunnan; Håvard Ness; Laura Elizabeth Mercer Traavik

Addresses: Department of Strategy and Logistics, Norwegian Business School – BI, 0442 Oslo, Norway. ' Buskerud University College, School of Business and Social Sciences, Postboks 164 Sentrum, N-3502 Hønefoss, Norway. ' Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour, Norwegian Business School – BI, 0442 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate whether individuals or teams should be sent to an initial alliance meeting and the impact of shared team aspiration levels on negotiation processes and outcomes. We use an experimental role-play to simulate an initial alliance meeting. 128 subjects participated in our study and our findings reveal that in team to team negotiations, higher economic outcomes were achieved and a higher degree of competitive behaviour was reported than in individual to individual dyads, and that team aspiration alignment was associated with increased reciprocity between teams. These findings suggest that in initial negotiations in an alliance, sending teams may be better for the subsequent developments in the alliance. When these teams are aligned, they are more attuned to the behaviour of their alliance partner.

Keywords: strategic alliances; initial negotiations; teams; individuals; initial processes; team aspiration levels; initial meetings; team negotiations; economic outcomes; competitive behaviour; individual-to-individual; reciprocity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSBA.2011.044856

International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances, 2011 Vol.2 No.4, pp.271 - 286

Published online: 12 Jan 2012 *

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